Elections for the seats of mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice chairman of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) with other municipalities of Sindh are underway.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) candidate for mayorship of the port city, Waseem Akhtar, came from prison in an armoured vehicle to cast his mayoral vote on Wednesday.
After a delay of eight years, polls are being held at the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) where at least 308 local government representatives are exercising their right to vote.
Experts believe the chances of Akhtar becoming Karachi’s next mayor are bright.
Senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar is hopeful that once Akhtar is selected as Karachi mayor, his party will take Karachi to new heights of success and development.
Waseem Akhtar, PPP’s Ikramullah Waqasi and independent candidates Muhammad Rafique Khan and Arshad Hassan are competing against each other for Karachi mayorship.
The Election Commission had written a letter to jail authorities to present MQM’s mayor nominee Waseem Akhtar – a former MP who has been held for over a month at Karachi central prison – for casting his vote in the elections.
For Karachi deputy mayor seats, a tight struggle is expected between MQM’s Arshad Vohra and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’s Amanullah Afridi while an independent candidate Naveed Javed is also trying his fate.
Elections are also underway in districts East, West, South, Central, Korangi and Malir for the posts of chairman and vice chairman.
District central declared MQM’s Rehan Hashmi as chairman and Saeed Shakir as vice chairman. Polls are still underway in district Malir.
Pakistan People’s Party is favourite in the Sindh interior regions following elections in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana and Shikarpur municipal corporations amid tough competition between MQM and PPP.
In Sukkur, Tando Allahyar and Kashmore, PPP candidates did a clean sweep. Dadu’s chairman and vice chairman positions have been taken by PPP’s Jaam Tamachi Unar and Ali Akbar Jamali respectively.
In Tharparkar, PPP’s Ghulam Hyder Samijo is contesting against PML-N’s Fida Hussain while in Dadu, PPP’s Ashraf Khan is facing Awami Ittehad’s Umer din.
In Ghotki, PPP’s Syed Asghar has been named as the chairman while Syed Nadir Shah as vice chairman.
Polling will run from 9am to 5pm. However, voters present in the polling station will be allowed to cast their votes beyond 5pm.